Just over halfway into the Bundesliga season and holders Bayern Munich finds themselves six points behind title rivals Borussia Dortmund. Bayern has won the last six Bundesliga titles comfortably, but this season they face a much improved Dortmund side who are favoured to topple Germany’s biggest club.
19 games into the season and Bayern trail Dortmund by six points, with Borussia Monchengladbach, set to have an impact on the title race as they are just nine points behind Dortmund, in third place.
We have something on our hands that we’ve desperately craved for years in German football. A proper title race.
Swiss manager Lucien Favre has transformed Dortmund into a world-class team, enduring success not just domestically but also in the Champions League as Dortmund topped a tough Group A which contained European powerhouses Athletico Madrid and AS Monaco.
Dortmund’s philosophy is clearly one that emphasises the importance of youth rather than splashing the cash on big name players. The Financial Times reported that Dortmund has spent the least amount of money out of all the teams in the top five European leagues.
Sporting director Michael Zorc runs Dortmund like a hard-nosed commodity trader, which can be seen as symbolising the city of Dortmund’s industrial roots.
Zorc looks for unpolished gems in the transfer market, where highly gifted youngsters feel undervalued, particularly in bigger clubs. England international Jaden Sancho, 18, is a perfect example of this as he was brought to Dortmund 18 months ago and has evolved into one of Europe’s most dangerous wingers and is a major factor in their title push.
In modern day football, teams tend to rightly or wrongly earn their success through financial capital, which is what makes Dortmund’s story so unique and cherishable as they have spent very little, but are still able to battle it out with the big guns each season.
However, Favre will know that Dortmund haven’t won anything yet and their plaudits from the neutrals will be worth nothing if Bayern wrestles back the title, come May.
The teams next play each other on the 6th of April, which is what is set to be an enthralling, vital, title-deciding contest. Dortmund will be involved in a mouth-watering clash in the Champions League round of 16, as they go up against Tottenham next month, while Bayern faces Liverpool in another must-see game.
Key players for Dortmund will be top goalscorer Paco Alcacer who has found the back of the net 12 times in just 13 games, as well as club legend Marco Reus who is back to his best this season recording 11 goals and 7 assists in just 17 games this term. Lining up alongside those players could be Dortmund transfer target Wilfried Zaha, who is rumoured to be joining the German side from Crystal Palace this month.
Bayern will heavily be relying on their own star striker, Robert Lewandoski who has hit 11 goals this season, which is seven more than any other player. This means they need to be asking a lot more out of their other key attacking players such as Thomas Muller and Frank Ribery.
It is set to be a cracking finish to this Bundesliga season and I for one cannot wait to watch the action unfold, let us know who you think will win the Bundesliga this season. Will Bayern’s experience overcome Dortmund’s youth or is it Dortmund’s turn to rule Germany once more? I think Dortmund under Favre have enough to end Bayern’s Bundesliga domination.
Who do you think will win the league? Let us know in the comments below!